Why are mobile data plans so expensive?

So I’ve been seeing Verizon’s ads for the Q.  They enthusiastically say, “Get the Motorola Q today for the value price of $79.99”.

Yeah…mmmhmm.  Then you go to the store to get your beloved SmartPhone and you find out that Verizon’s “unlimited” data plan is an additional $45 per month on your bill, on top of your voice plan.  The combination plan they try to push you into is roughly $80/month.

OUCH!  Talk about sticker shock.  The monthly price to use the capabilities of the phone is about equal to the cost of the phone itself.  To translate that, it would be like charging $500 for a computer and having your cable modem/dsl be $500 month.

Also, the iPhone is coming out from Apple.  Cingular’s data plan is something like $50/month.

Why do people pay these prices for mobile data plans?  I pay $35/month for my Comcast cable modem and I get a lot more use out of in that some tiny screen with an awkward user experience.  For example, I have a Treo I’m currently trying out but I’m not going to activate Pocket IE because I don’t want to pay their outragous data plan prices!  It’s crazy!

In my opinion, a mobile data plan should be hmmm…maybe $15 additional.  What do you think?  Please leave a comment below.

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